Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

In response to Lost Purposes
Comment author: mtc 25 November 2007 05:31:07PM 2 points [-]

It seems to me there are plenty of 'sane' corporations out there, even very large ones. Eliezer-

Corporations have the singular purpose of making money, and its generally very simply to determine if and how well a given company is doing this. The problems you describe with our education system or Soviet shoe factories apply to a certain extent within a corporation itself, but if a company strays too much from its purpose of making money (starts going 'insane'), this becomes quickly apparent in the form of declining profits. And of course if it can't find a way to remedy this, the corporation goes bust. The end.

I guess I was just sort of surprised you mentioned corporations here, because the pressures in a free market tend to mitigate the sorts of problems you identify in public education and communist economies. Perhaps you had something else in mind when asking if corporations can be sane; If so, I'd like to hear it.

In response to An Alien God
Comment author: mtc 03 November 2007 05:53:32AM 2 points [-]

Eliezer- Your point about Darwin having found God --just not the one anybody was hoping for-- is brilliant. The problems evolution poses for religion are obvious, but thats the first time I've seen it framed that way. Great post.

Though one nitpick I would offer: (which might be helpful if you're planning on referencing this post in the future?) Saying your sister shares half your genes is a bit off. If your sister shares only half your genes that would make her something closer to an earth worm or perhaps a house plant (I forget exactly how the commonality of genes among organisms breaks down). I think if you clarify it with 'your sister shares half the genes that differentiate you genetically from the human race', this might be more correct. Or perhaps its that half her DNA is sequenced exactly like yours? Point is, if you're endeavoring to clear up some of the misconceptions about evolution, you might want to be a little more exacting with how you talk about genes.